In the new decade, the tourbillon continues to break through the high-end field of high-end product development. At the same time, the scene of prosperity has become the new normal. Indeed, the tourbillon market, like the epitome of the watch industry, has begun to differentiate into ultra-luxury and more accessible low-end markets. In this way, traditional Swiss manufacturers find themselves taking a good business route between reducing the price of tourbillon and avoiding damage to brands built on high-quality, high-price models.
Whether you agree with the democratization of the tourbillon, even micro-brands can now provide decent tourbillon watches for less than $ 2,000. For this, we must thank not Switzerland, but China. Next, but first, let ’s focus on the rise of the tourbillon and several watches that appeared at the same time as the large case (a new balance mechanism that can move in three dimensions). This is also the era of CAD design leap forward, which makes the design rendering of three-dimensional tables easier, which is another development help for the increasingly complex tourbillon. In addition, in 2001, the 200th anniversary of the patent of Abraham-Loius Breguet (Abraham-Loius Breguet), which brought a greater impetus to the “tourbillon boom”.
Looking back at the 8th issue of QP in 2004, it reminded me of Thomas Prescher’s three-axis tourbillon watch and tourbillon trilogy that brought surprises to the entire industry. Then, in 2006, Jaeger-LeCoultre shocked the market with a steel tourbillon, which was initially sold at half the price of competitors.
The most complicated tourbillon in the world
The innovation of the tourbillon is constantly emerging. Zenith launched the unique Zero-G in 2008, which has a balance and escapement mechanism on the gimbal in the unique gyroscope cage. The tourbillon has always been complicated, but with 165 parts, it is the most complicated in the world. Also in 2008, Cartier launched the Rotondo de Cartier Astrorégulateur, whose vertical direction and escapement mechanism are in the micro-rotor.
Some commentators say that so far, the complexity of the tourbillon may have reached its peak, “using this function is more important than accurate timing.” Yet another factor is that in the late 2000s, Chinese manufacturers increasingly bought tourbillons for a fraction of the price at that time. Then, after the 2016 Basel International Watch and Jewelry Show, TAG Heuer announced the production of its Carrera Heuer 02-T tourbillon. It features a flying tourbillon made in Switzerland and costs less than $ 15,000. The era of cheap, high-quality tourbillon watches has arrived …
The most advanced tourbillon
Today, there are some watches here, including some of the best tourbillon watches, which show the current state of the art of tourbillon. We start with two tourbillons highly rated by British trade magazine WatchPro in its 2017 awards.
Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1
Richard Mille claims that each carbon fiber and graphene RM 50-03 weighs less than 40 grams, which is the lightest mechanical chronograph ever, and is also a mechanism that starts the tourbillon table! It must be good before the official release, all 70 units are priced at more than 1 million US dollars!
Greubel Forsey Vision Tourbillon 24 seconds
Without reference to Greubel Forsey, the article without tourbillon is complete. Look at the beauty described by QP’s James Gurney in Issue 71: “There are hardly any elements on a watch that deserve the most mysterious criticism.”
Richard Mille alloy RM50-02 ACJ
Returning to Richard Mille, my passion for anything related to aerospace was indulged in the modern titanium aluminum alloy RM50-02 ACJ developed in cooperation with Airbus Corporate Jets. I like the bright colors, the details of the movement inspired by aircraft instruments, the bezel of the “aircraft porthole” and the crown inspired by the wheels. If I could only have one Richard Miller …
Franck Muller Giga Tourbillon
Franck Muller said that this is the largest tourbillon in a watch movement. An impressive diameter of 20 mm; half full of dial, requiring four barrels of power and an impressive nine-day power reserve.
25th Anniversary of Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph
Back to SIHH 2018 again. The Associated Press’ 25th Anniversary Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph is another watch that should not be overlooked. Again, Royal Oak, one of the most distinctive watches, has never been underestimated. It can be said that this is not only a watch that caused the trend of large, heroic and luxurious sports timepieces in the 1990s. In 1986, the brand launched its first mass-produced tourbillon.
Seiko Credor FUGAKO Tourbillon (Limited Edition)
Seiko has traditionally avoided tourbillons, so it is surprising that Seiko’s first Credor FUGAKO tourbillon appeared at the Basel Watch Fair 2016. See how this Japanese tourbillon combines advanced traditional watchmaking craftsmanship, traditional Japanese Art Deco technology and the Edo period. Images of Kanagawa Prefecture removed.